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Maine Pastors Seek to Ban Books from Library's Banned Book Display

Full disclosure, I've read a lot of books on that table.

Banned Books Week is coming! That means that the period between September 23and September 29th is a time to recognize and celebrate works suppressed by censorship for dubious reasons. This years theme is "Banning Books Silences Stories."

 

Not everyone is jazzed for Banned Books week. Specifically, a group of pastors in Maine are distinctly not jazzed. In fact, they are so devoid of jazz that they recently sought to have a local library in Maine ban books from the banned book table they've set up for Banned Book Week. And the repetition in that sentence makes me think of that one Tyler, the Creator gif which I'll put here for your amusement:

 

"So you're just going to bring me a birthday gift on my birthday to my birthday party on my birthday with a birthday gift?"

 Image via Tenor

 

The display, pictured below, featured several works of LGBTQ literature, and this seems to be the rallying point of the complaint made. On September 6th, Dan Pears of Rumford Baptist Church, Justin Thacker of Praise Assembly of God, and Nathan March of the Parish of the Holy Saint co-wrote a letter to the Rumford Public Library which read, among other things: "children should not be subjected to early sexualization" and that the display preaches "far left political views that sees homosexuality as acceptable." 

 

Display of banned books prominently featuring books on LGBTQ themes.

 

Here is the pastors' letter in full:

 

The full letter sent to the Rumford Public Library

Image via Wonkette

 

Part 2 of the Letter

Image via Wonkette

 

The library in question has the support of both the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF). Even without the support of these organizations, the library, as a public institution, still has no obligation to curate its offerings based on the tastes of individuals or groups thereof in the local community. And the library said as much in the board meeting that was called to address the concerns of the pastors. 

 

An article published by Wonkette has reported that, "after a brief hubbub and a rather pitched fuck-tussle," the library stood its ground and refused to take down the display. The article also reports that author and Maine resident Katrina Ray-Saulis said that one of the letter-writing pastors "verbally expressed that he would like to pursue the destruction of all books regarding homosexuality in the library."

 

In a satisfying end, the meeting concluded with a unanimous vote to preserve the display, with Board of Trustees chairperson Carolyn Kennard saying, "By moving that (display), it would be a form of censorship that we cannot do, under any circumstance."

 

"Yes!"

Image via Gifer 

Featured Image Via Wikipedia.